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Arizona Senate plans hand count of 2.1m ballots

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On Thursday, Republicans who control the Arizona Senate announced they plan to perform a total recount of 2.1 million ballots in the state’s highest-population county to ensure that President Joe Biden’s November win was legitimate.

Senate President Karen Fann (R) had been calling for a “full forensic audit” of Maricopa County’s election result and won a court order on February 26 granting the Senate access to the ballots and tabulation machines. Until this week, according to the Associated Press, she had never expressed that she wanted a complete recount, something Arizona law doesn’t permit except in narrow situations.

MORE ON ARIZONA: Arizona AG: Biden ‘incentivizing’ migrants ‘to break the law and come here

Some GOP supporters of former President Donald Trump allege there was election fraud in Arizona and other swing states that caused his 2020 loss. Fann said she wants to answer their questions one way or the other, according to the AP.

On Thursday, Fann announced that she had decided on a “preferred forensic audit team” to supervise the recount but did not disclose the firm’s name, explaining she was still hammering out the final details, according to The Arizona Mirror.

She had previously been eyeing a company with deep ties to Trump’s campaign, per the AP, but announced last month that it was not being considered anymore. The Allied Security Operations Group collaborated with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to promote allegations of election fraud and counting errors in Arizona and other states.

Fann’s announcement said she now plans to do a total hand recount of the ballots, as well as testing the tabulation machines and rescanning every ballot from Maricopa. The county, however, has already performed such a test using federally certified firms, who discovered no problems with the machines—in addition to scanning and hand counting all 2.1 million ballots, according to The Mirror.

“When all the work is done, there will be a full report for the Senate and County to review,” Fann said in a statement. “Our voters expect this audit, and it can be a big step in returning trust and confidence in our election process.”

While Fann said she hopes the effort is bipartisan, Arizona Senate Democrats have shot down that notion.

“We never wanted anything to do with that,” said Assistant Minority Leader Lupe Contreras (D), per the AP. “I guess you could say we worked in a bipartisan way, since we backed the Board of Supervisors, which is all Republican but one,” Contreras said.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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There is ‘repeated evidence’ of non-citizens voting

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There is “repeated evidence” of non-citizens voting, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said during an appearance on Breitbart News Daily, discussing the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act.

“Let me just say this about the overall state of the election issue,” Roy began, explaining that “we’ve got repeated evidence of those who are here illegally — or, or whether they’re here legally — but non-citizens voting.”

“We’ve got studies demonstrating that. We’ve got evidence that it may have tipped the election for Al Franken and his election back in Minnesota. Objective studies have showed…Virginia tossing out 1,500 registered voters just last year. I can go through a laundry list. We’ve got local jurisdictions — Oakland, San Francisco, our nation’s capital in Washington, DC, and New York City — who are registering voters specifically for their state and local elections, but we know that they don’t work hard to make sure they’re not voting in federal elections,” he said, noting that “federal law prohibits [and] limits the ability of states to be able to check and ensure citizenship, so much so that the state of Arizona has to run two systems — one for their state local elections and one for their federal elections.”

“They’re literally bifurcated because they want to ensure citizenship for their state and local elections, but they’re not allowed to for federal elections. Therefore, we need to fix the problem,” he said.

Breitbart News adds:

Further, Roy said, because of the Motor Voter Act — the National Voter Registration Act — passed in the 1990s, the courts have interpreted federal laws to limit the state’s ability to “determine and collect the information necessary for determining and checking citizenship.”

Essentially, Roy said the U.S. has set up a system that requires federal agencies to push out the forms, encouraging individuals to register to vote. And while they ask one to identify if they are a citizen, and while federal law requires one to be a citizen to vote in federal elections, the congressman said there is nothing there to actually check citizenship.

The SAVE Act would help address these issues and correct what Roy described as the “glitch,” making it so every state would require anyone applying to register to vote to prove their citizenship.

“By doing that, though, it is correcting the glitch. It also goes through and it addresses some of the issues that have been complicated. There are states, for example, like North Dakota, which does not have voter registration at all, okay? So they can just show up to vote and don’t have registration…They have their own rules there about what you have to present in order just to vote. And that’s obviously a less populated state than, say, California or Texas or New York or Florida. But, so, we adapt and try to adjust to help with those kinds of situations. But, overall, the purpose of the bill is exactly as you just described, pretty simple,” Roy said. This is a bipartisan issue with massive support.

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